Mainly, the skills I managed to acquire in my life are through self-study and attention to detail. I did spend a decent amount of time through high school developing this, and a bit of time studying with the Art Institutes (but this was well after I'd already begun my artistic production, and prior to finding the difficulties they would soon have with the US government).
When asked, I often tell people I would likely have continued to make my living from graphic design and illustration - except that it was very harsh on my body physically. I mean, through inactivity. I find it is nothing to spend a day sitting at my desk, only to blink and find out 10 hours have past. (God bless those who can do that.)
Still, I am never to be found too far away from this love, and often try to continue developing my skills and knowledge with these arts. Below, in my gallery, I hope you enjoy some of the things I've produced.
This was my general exposure to the arts in high school. I can credit my teachers at Boardman High for opening my eyes to my potential. I was fortunate.
With the advent of the internet, I learned quickly the game of HTML, and immediately discovered the need for graphic skills to make visually appealing websites, early on. So began a self-development to design digitally and a short career with web design companies (including helping found a couple of my own).
I am a proponent of the philosophy of "if you want to learn something - dive right into it and learn as you go". So it was to learn if I would like comic illustration and originated to the curator of the Superman Thru the Ages site I would finish a story, which became a thing (you can read more about in the "K-Metal..." link).
I'd worked freelance for several web development companies, but was rapidly seeing the industry turn to animated websites using Flash technology (not longer much of a thing now). I started diving into Content Management Systems but only for myself. I left web development behind.
Mistakenly thinking that I needed to have a more formal education in the arts (despite my experience), I subjected myself to this program, only to find out midway that entry level positions for my field paid less than what I was making before entering school. Considering how often I was referred to YouTube for study material, the debt being incurred and the prospects for the future through this venue, I ended my program.
Since, I've utilized my skills primarily for my own personal commercial and non-commercial interests (I develop my own sites for my business and interests), make fine art in special circumstances or sit at the drawing board anymore when I feel the inspiration to. It's a good place to be and can keep my hands busy when and where I want for who I want. For many, that is the definition of wealth.